‘WannaCry’ Hero is Facing 4 New Federal Malware Charges


The cybersecurity researcher widely credited with putting an end to last year’s unprecedented WannaCry cyberattack is facing four new federal charges, allegedly creating malware to steal financial information.

Marcus Hutchins, the British security researcher widely known as MalwareTech, is now facing a total of ten charges after the Eastern District of Wisconsin filed a revised grand jury indictment, citing the FBI’s allegation that Hutchins lied about creating a malware called Kronos before conspiring to promote it online on platforms including YouTube.

Prosecutors allege that Hutchins conspired to sell Kronos with others, accusing the researcher to appear in a YouTube video in 2014 to show how Kronos worked. The indictment also claims Hutchins created and distributed other malware called UPAS Kit in 2012, designed to steal personal information and credit card details.

The researcher is accused of conspiracy to defraud the United States, computer fraud, lying to the FBI and the manufacture, distribution, advertisement and possession of an intercept device.

Hutchins’ attorney Brian Klein has pointed to “serious flaws” in the prosecution, telling CNN in an email:

We are disappointed the government had filed this superseding indictment, which is meritless.

The researcher is seen as a hero prior to his arrest in Las Vegas last year, after helping stop the WannaCry attack by developing a kill switch to keep the virus from spreading.

Hutchins, who posted a $30,000 bond following his arrest last year, is living in Los Angles presently.

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